Consumption: Generation Z stands out from the millennials

The advent of Generation Y, that of digital natives born between 1980 and 1998, marked a break with its sense of independence and flexibility. Generation Z, that of the under-21s, is even more confusing, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants, which published on January 24 a study conducted in 9 countries, including France. “Generation Z is both more globalized and homogeneous than the previous one, explains David de Matteis, partner of the French office. But it is also in search of singularity and uniqueness.” His purchasing power – or that of his parents – reached 3.400 billion dollars, including 61 billion in France.

Generation Z has more than 4 social media accounts

Good news for brands, this generation is not at all hostile to them. On the contrary, she loves them as long as they have positive opinions on the web and the support of international celebrities. These famous influencers like Kylie Jenner or Kanye West. In France, these young adults have an average of 4.4 personal accounts on social networks, such as Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, against 3.6 for millennials. Thus, we are witnessing the birth of globalized consumers while, until now, the distinctions between countries, standards of living and gender were more marked, according to OC&C. Posts, tweets and likes cross borders thanks to the Internet and constitute a universal doxa in fashion, beauty, and even catering. Or, at the very least, transnational tribes, like hipsters, with quite similar behavior.

A globalized generation emerges in search of unique experiences

In contrast, young adults are less loyal to brands than their elders. What matters above all for them is to be able to stand out. “They are global, and yet they do not want to wear the same thing as everyone else”, underlines David de Matteis. Hence the success of limited editions and other unique collections, such as that of Nike with Supreme, on which they rush: each purchase is then perceived as a trophy which allows to shine. Likewise, they appreciate the experiences that a brand like the extreme sports offered by Red Bull can offer them. Obviously, belonging to a community on a social network boosts their spending. It’s so easy to click on a photo to buy …

Diversity, inequalities and safety matter to them more than waste

That doesn’t mean, however, that Gen Z is letting their behavior be dictated. “These young people put their ideas into practice in their purchasing actions,” says David de Matteis. So what are their convictions? In terms of consumption, price remains a priority. And if style matters more to them than their elders, quality is seen as less important. More generally, they are very sensitive to animal welfare, the main cause to which these young people say they are “entirely devoted”, and more demanding than previous generations in terms of social diversity, the fight against inequalities and security. On the other hand, the reduction of plastic, the problem of waste or the carbon footprint mobilizes less. This may seem worrisome in view of the climate issues, unless these causes are already taken for granted. This generation, which will be in its fifties in 2050, must nevertheless prepare for it.